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First Name: Hunter

Last Name: Harris

Birthplace: Fort Sam Houston, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Date of Birth: 27 November 1909

Date of Death: 05 March 1987

Rank: General

Years Served: 1932-1967
Hunter Harris, Jr.

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1932

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Hunter Harris, Jr.

General, U.S. Air Force

Hunter Harris, Jr. was born at Fort Sam Houston, TX, on 27 November 1909. He attended the Virginia Military Institute, the University of Georgia, and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry on 10 June 1932. He was detailed to the Army Air Corps for pilot flight training at Randolph Field and Kelly Field, TX. He became a rated pilot in October 1933 and was assigned to the U.S. Army Air Corps on 16 February 1934. Harris was then stationed at March Field, CA, where he held various group and squadron positions.

In March 1937, Harris went to Nichols Field in the Philippines, for duty with the 28th Bomb Squadron; he later served at Clark Field. In March 1940 he was assigned to Bolling Field, Washington, DC, and in December 1941 became Assistant Operations Officer with the Air Force Combat Command Headquarters at Bolling Field.

Harris was assigned to the War Department General Staff in March 1942 and in October he assumed command of a B-17 Provisional Group and later became Commander of the 447th Bomb Group. In the fall of 1943 he took the 447th Group to England. Harris assumed Command of the 13th Combat Bomb Wing of the Eighth Air Force in September 1944, and was then assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the Third Bomber Division of the Eighth Air Force in the European Theater in December. During this service in Europe, he flew 25 combat missions in B-17s totaling 200 hours, followed by a few P-51 missions.

After returning to the U.S. in June 1945, he was assigned as Deputy Chief, Military Personnel Division, in charge of officer personnel, Headquarters Army Air Force, in Washington. In August 1947, he entered the Air War College at Maxwell Field, AL, and graduated in June 1948. His next assignment was as Air Force Deputy Commander, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Sandia Base, NM. Harris assumed command of the 509th Bomb Wing, Eighth Air Force, at Walker Air Force Base, NM, in January 1950 and was appointed Commanding General, 47th Air Division at Walker in January 1951. His next assignment came in February 1952 as the Chief of the War Plans Division, Deputy Chief of Staff/Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington. In November 1953, he was designated Deputy Director of Plans at Headquarters U.S. Air Force and the Air Force member of the Joint Strategic Plans Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Harris became Deputy for Operations at Headquarters Far East Air Forces in May 1955, and was later assigned to the staff of the Commander-in-Chief Pacific, as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations. In November 1958 he became Deputy Commander, Eighth Air Force, Strategic Air Command at Westover Air Force Base, MA; in October 1961 he became its Commander.

On 1 October 1962, Harris became Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base, NE. He was promoted to the four-star rank of General on 18 July 1964 and assumed his assignment as Commander of the Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, HI, on 1 August.

General Harris retired from the Air Force on 1 February 1967.

Medals and Awards

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

Silver Star Medal

Legion of Merit

Distinguished Flying Cross (2 Awards)

Air Medal (5 Awards)

Commendation Medal (2 Awards)

Purple Heart

Distinguished Unit Citation

French Croix de Guerre with Palm

British Distinguished Flying Cross

Thai Order of the Cloud and Banner

Chinese Order of the Cloud and Banner

Korean Order of Military Merit

Taeguk Cordon

He was rated as a Command Pilot and Technical Observer.

Death and Burial

General Hunter Harris Jr. died on 5 March 1987. He is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, HI.

Honoree ID: 731   Created by: MHOH




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